Reposting Dave Kurlan’s post from his blog “Understanding the Sales Force”

I was walking through the Airport when I saw what could be the missing link to sales improvement.

I watched a baby place a dirty napkin into the trash. This wasn’t any trash deposit though. This baby clamped his tiny fingers around the napkin, carefully steered his little hand until it was centered over the trash, and coaxed his fingers to open until the napkin finally dropped gently into the trash. At this accomplishment, his mommy let out a loud roar of approval, “yeah!!!”, and congratulated her little boy for successfully taking out the trash for the first time.

Did you notice the missing ingredient?

When salespeople are learning how to do something new, how often are they cheered on? Chances are, when and if they attempt to do something new, nobody even notices unless the salesperson happens to relate the details of the call. Salespeople usually hear the cheers only if they win a year-end award for performance.

When Sales Managers join salespeople on their calls they should conduct some pre-call coaching and share their expectations about what they would like to see their salespeople do. What would happen if, immediately following the call, if the salespeople actually execute the pre-call coaching, their sales managers cheer them on? The baby wasn’t applauded for a big event or outcome, simply for a simple first time accomplishment. Do you think a little cheering might encourage the desired behavior changes?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Mar 15, 2010 @ 04:50 AM

Couldn’t have said it better. I offer the sales force evaluations and screens from Dave’s company Objective Management Group.